From the Front Porch
Late last week, my mom and I quietly snuck back to our hometown to surprise my sweet aunt who’s been battling an aggressive form of breast cancer.
It blows my mind it’s been a year already because we know all too well a successful outcome is never guaranteed.
And as a result, we’re thankful for every single day we have with her.
As some of you know, our family has been enveloped in a cloud of grief since the middle of April. As I write this, we’ve had 5 loved ones pass away.
A 6th is currently in hospice care.
My aunt tried to convince us several times not to even bother celebrating her birthday. She’s a very practical person anyway so this did not come as a surprise.
“I’m not looking back for a single second and y’all shouldn’t either,” she told me. “You don’t need to come. We’ll celebrate once we get to Martha’s Vineyard,” she told my Mom.
Normally, we would respect her wishes.
But there was no way we could let the day pass without marking it in some way. So, we honored my aunt by keeping things as “no-fuss” as possible.
We ate biscuits while the rain fell and then walked the gorgeous flower beds outlining her farm.
My cousin (her daughter) went out early to fix her hair and makeup. She also surprised my aunt with a beautiful new outfit so she would not only look her best but would feel her best too.
We took her to lunch “uptown”, gave her a personalized stationery set and fountain pen, toasted her special day with the best coconut cream pie we’ve ever had, and cheered her miraculous recovery with pink bubbly in little party cups.
We laughed and cried and hugged each other tightly.
As we were leaving, I asked my aunt what she had discovered about herself over the past year. “Learning to let go and wait was really tough,” she said, “I like to fix things and I wanted it to be done on my timeline.” (emphasis hers)
“The other thing is that I couldn’t have made it without you guys. It was hard to ask for help but you all knew what I needed before I even needed it sometimes. You have no idea what a gift that was to me. It felt like you were sharing my burden even though it wasn’t yours to carry,” she continued.
The ride home was an especially quiet one. But I knew we had made the right choice in helping my aunt celebrate her special day.
If the past month has taught me anything, it’s just how easily our lives can change in an instant.
Taking a single day for granted is a luxury very few people around the globe can even afford.
So, as we enter the summer season, my wish for you is a simple one…
Don’t wait to live your dreams out loud or to celebrate your purpose.
Don’t wait to apologize and make amends.
Don’t wait to take the trip or make your health and mental wellness a priority.
Don’t wait to buy the bigger pants or have the tough conversations you’ve been putting off.
We were never meant to carry our burdens alone.
Don’t wait to lay them down.
A Few of Our Favorite Things From Around the Web This Week…
This portfolio is filled with luxury spaces.
I can’t stop thinking about this project from photography powerhouse Gridley + Graves.
What do you think about this French bistro-inspired kitchen?
How pretty is this house by Bria Hammel Interiors?
I’ve looked at these photos a hundred times and I STILL can’t get over the transformation!
If you love Cape Cod-style homes, you’re in for a gorgeous treat!
This garden in Devon is really beautiful.
The Chelsea Flower Show gets me every time.
Speaking of beautiful, I’m totally obsessed with these flower arrangements.
Love, love, love this fabulous linen closet organization!
Just added this fun idea to my summer DIYs to try!
This dress and this pullover scream summer!
I’m totally here for the long sleeve swimsuit trend, are you?
Tired of Feeling Tired? 10 Ways to Get Better Sleep by Tomorrow
An At-Home Wellness Sabbatical Could Be Exactly What You Need Right Now-Here’s How it Works
Words to Live By…
Second Quarter Books of the Month and Devotional…
(Amazon affiliate links have been provided for your convenience. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Any sales made through such links will support us with a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can read our full disclosure policy here)
- April – The Gift of Home: Beauty and Inspiration to Make Every Space a Special Place by Bre Doucette (The designs and ideas in this book all feel doable which is nice. It also made me want to have hydrangeas planted around every inch of our property.)
- May – The Power to Bless – Speaking Life into Those You Love by Alan Right (This is definitely going to be one of my favorite books of the year. It was SO GOOD and felt like having a little pep talk each day)
- June – Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris by Jennifer L Scott (I’m so excited to dive into this book this month!)
- Courageous Simplicity: Abide in the Simple Abundance of Jesus (I’ve really had to take my time with this devotional because some sections of it are pretty deep. That said, I’m learning a lot and I look at my calendar in a completely different way now)
On the Menu this Week…
Week of June 5th – June 12th
- 06/05 Sunday: Chicken Mozzarella Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- 06/06 Monday: Grilled Fish with Mango and Avocado Salad
- 06/07 Tuesday: Tacos Casserole and Mexican chopped salad
- 06/08 Wednesday: Blackened Chicken Cobb Salad
- 06/09 Thursday: Lighter Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- 06/10 Friday: Lobster Rolls
- 06/11 Saturday: Sheet Pan Steak and Veggies
- 06/12 Sunday: Pork Chops with Dijon-Buttermilk Sauce with mashed cauliflower and steamed veggies
Sweet Treat to Try This Week…
Light and Delicious Lemon Cheesecake
Pastel Summer Inspired Finds We Spotted Online at Amazon and Target This Week…
(Amazon and Target affiliate links have been provided for your convenience. As an Amazon and Impact Media Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Any sales made through such links will support us with a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can read our full disclosure policy here)
Blue Dress * Tote * Tee Shirt Pack * Kitchen Mat
Garden Maker * Pullover * Bamboo Lantern * Pull-On Shorts
Water Filter Bottle * Earrings * Striped Dress * Tray
Hydrangea Stem * Carry On * Cuticle Oil * Pink Dress
If You’ve Missed Anything from the Blog Recently or the Archives, Here’s a Peek At What We’ve Been Up To…
64 of The Best Books to Read This Summer
Simple Summer Camp Ideas for Adults
Tips and Tricks for Creating a Bedroom Office Space (in case you’re setting up an office at home this summer)
DIY Donut Hole Decorating Kit (the littles loved these)
How to Make a Candy Tackle Box (these are great for traveling)
June Bucket List…
- Celebrate Dad’s Birthday, Flag Day, and Father’s Day
- Enjoy the Cabin
- Begin 30 Day Rest Challenge
- Try a New Craft Project
- Learn to Make a Signature Mocktail
- Surprise Someone with an Unexpected Gift
- Take a Walking Photography Tour
- Continue Quarter 2 Challenge
- Read the Book of the Month
- Keep Sundays Sacred
June Simplified and Organize Home Challenge…
Focus of the Month: Paper Clutter, Photos, and Email
- 06/04 – Bills/Mail/Paper Clutter
- 06/11 – Digital Computer Files/Passwords/Photographs
- 06/18 – Your Email Inbox
- 06/25 – Organize Your Purse, Wallet & Update Your Phone Contacts
TCG Housekeeping Notes, Dates to Remember, and Upcoming Posts…
- 06/03 – National Donut Day (deals here)
- 06/05 – National Cancer Survivors Day
- 06/06 – TCG Summer Reset and Time Off Begins ***
- 06/08 – World Oceans Day, National Best Friends Day
- 06/11 – National Making Life Beautiful Day
- 06/14 – Flag Day
- 06/19 – Juneteenth, Father’s Day
- 06/21 – First Day of Summer
- 06/23 – National Pink Day
- 06/30 – Social Media Day, National Meteor Day
As always, we appreciate you more than you could ever know, and we hope your weekend is peace-filled and relaxing. We can’t wait to share even more with you next week!
Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.
My heart goes out to your family in this difficult time; may God’s love wrap around you.
Glad to hear you had such a good visit with your Aunt and I loved your reminder not to wait.
Please know that your readers appreciate you and are rooting and praying for your family
Thank you so much for your thoughtful words, AJ, and thank you for your prayers as well. We definitely need and receive them. I’m so thankful we were able to celebrate with my aunt despite everything that has been going on too. I think it meant a lot to her and it was nice to have a reason to smile and laugh again. We are headed to the cabin to reset our hearts for the summer. So there will be a lot of quiet time in the morning, fresh trails to hike, peaches, Cheerwine, and lots of naps in my future. Hope your summer season is filled with all good things as well. Big hugs and thank you for all of your encouragement, CoCo
It’s been a tough time for all of you. Your family is amazing. The bonds you have gets you through tough times.
You enjoy each other so much. You’re so right life changes in an instant.
Thanks for always inspiring!
Thanks so much for all your sweet words and prayers, Cindy, I really appreciate it. Big hugs, CoCo
Your aunt sounds like such a wise woman.
Loosing so many family members, so close together, I can’t even….
I wish I had some words of encouragement for you. It is such a tough season for your family.
I really appreciate it, Pamela. We were largely spared from COVID deaths but I’ve thought about those families that lost multiple people at the same time over and over again these past few weeks. Things like this are always tough to get through yet somehow we lean on each other a little more, hug each other a little tighter, love more fiercely than before, and find a way to keep going in their honor. Thank you for your kind words – they mean a lot. Hugs, CoCo
My heart goes out to you CoCo, It’s so hard to lose dear friends, and you’re right – the only thing we can do is enjoy each day and create as many wonderful memories as possible. It sounds like you’re doing both even with a heavy heart. You’ve touched so many people with your creativity and kindness. I’m sending lots of love and healing energy your way. Take care –
Thanks so much, Barbra, I really appreciate it. It’s crazy to think we’ve lost so many people in our family this close together. We find comfort in knowing their lives made an impact on us all and they will not be forgotten. Thank you again for your kind words and for sending love and healing energy our way. CoCo
Thanks so much for sharing this today. Again, you always speak to my soul and I’m so grateful for your writing. Love to you and have a lovely weekend!
Such a sweet and kind compliment, Rachel, thank you. Sometimes I know exactly what I want to say and sometimes I sit down and struggle to come up with anything that makes sense so your encouraging words mean a lot to me. I hope your weekend is filled with all good things. I love spring and fall like crazy but I have to say I’m excited about all the adventures that await us both this summer. Big hugs, CoCo
I loved reading about you and your mom spending time with your aunt for her birthday! I agree that we can’t take a day for granted. We are not promised a tomorrow! You are so sweet to share my paper tablecloth. Blessing for a wonderful weekend.
Thanks so much, Rachel! We had a great time and I’m so thankful we helped my sweet aunt celebrate even though it was on a smaller scale than we originally expected. I told both my Mom and my aunt I better get lots of champagne and lobster pictures from Martha’s Vineyard 🙌 Big hugs for a happy weekend, CoCo
So glad that you enjoyed seeing my Victorian doll house all decked out for the Patriotic Summer Holidays!! It is my pride and joy and something I did not get until I was 50 years old…You are never to old for anything!! Sending prayers for your Aunt and your entire family and Kudos to you for taking part in a lovely Birthday celebration for her. I am not one who likes to celebrate my Birthday because I do not like the attention that it brings BUT I do celebrate every single day i wake up as it is a gift…I am a cancer survivor and I know how precious each day is….Once again, I am amazed at these posts where you have the month planned out!! I need to do something like this!! Thanks for the inspiration!! I hope you have a great weekend!!
You can’t hear it, Deb, but I’m sending out a WOO-HOO and YEEEESSSS after reading you got a dollhouse at 50 years old and saying, “You are never too old for anything!” because I couldn’t agree more. Thank you for your kind words celebrating my aunt. As a cancer survivor, you know all too well how precious each day truly is. It makes me all kinds of excited to know you are on the other side of things living your best life and allowing us to share in your best gifts. Big hugs, CoCo
CoCo – I am so sorry for your losses. 5 losses is staggering and I can’t begin to wrap my mind around it. i am so glad you respected your aunt’s wishes but STILL surprised her with a visit. It always amazes me the strength certain women have – specifically when she said “It is not your burden to carry”. How many people who feel this way? Also that Sally Hansen cuticle oil totally rocks. Thank you for sharing so many links and so much inspiration. I might steal a few ideas from your weekly menu.
Thank you so much, Anna, I really appreciate your kind and thoughtful words. Thankfully, we have a huge farm family with lots of extra love and grace to go around because we’ve needed each other a lot lately. I could not imagine celebrating such a special anniversary without my aunt. She’s a great lady and we’re beyond thankful to have her in our lives. The cuticle oil is a game-changer, especially, during gardening season! Sending you big hugs, CoCo
p.s. I had NO IDEA there was a National Pink Day. Definitely celebrating that one!
Oh CoCo… what a beautiful post! I’m so sorry for all of the grief your family has been facing the last few months, and am sending big hugs your way! That’s so sweet you were able to go visit and celebrate your aunt! And on a side note… I just finished Lessons from Madame Chic and loved it… I’m sure you will, too. 🙂 Have a lovely week!
So excited to read you like the Lessons from Madame Chic too, Heidi! I have been spending so much time reading it and loving it, it makes me want to get the other books in her series too. I can’t imagine spending so much time in France like that what a gift! Thanks for all your kind words regarding all our family has been through these past few months. It blows my mind everything started happening at once but each day is getting a little better which feels like a huge blessing. Sending you lots of hugs, CoCo
I’m so sorry to learn that your family has been going through such a terrible time. It seems to be happening in waves. My husband lost is brother and 7 friends over the last 6 weeks. There is nothing we can do but to give love and support when needed. I know how happy your aunt must have been that you were there to celebrate her special day.
I’m so sorry for your losses, Karen. I know how hard it is to lose so many people at once. I was just telling my sister it’s like you can’t process one thing before another heartbreak finds its way to your front door. Thankfully, we all have each other to lean on and it sounds like you all do as well. Please know I’ll be keeping you in prayers and sending lots of love and light your way. May their memories be a blessing that comforts you exactly when you need it most. Big hugs, CoCo